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Key insights on Corporate Responsibility from the Doughty Centre

Posted: Wednesday 20 July 11, 8.50am GMT

June 2011, sees the publication of three new publications by the Doughty Centre of Corporate Responsibility exploring the Business Case for Responsible Business, how Understanding organisational context is critical for engaging employees and how Re-thinking the Big Society presents challenges and opportunities for managers.

Companies are recognising new benefits from sustainable business

Company leaders are recognising a greater range of business benefits as they become increasingly sophisticated at managing sustainable businesses, according to a report by Business in the Community (BITC) and the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield School of Management.

The Business Case for Being a Responsible Business, launched on 8 June alongside BITC’s 2011 Corporate Responsibility Index results, highlights new categories of business benefits – responsible leadership and macro-level sustainable development – which emerge as companies develop greater skills and expertise in managing their corporate responsibility strategy and operations.

In addition to these new benefits, seven categories of business benefits – brand value and reputation, employees and future workforce, operational effectiveness, risk reduction and management, direct financial impact, organisational growth and business opportunity – have proved durable, even during recession.

Says Professor David Grayson, Director of the Doughty Centre:

It has long been argued that managing the risks and opportunities of environmental, social and governance is a proxy for good management. I would now argue that with this business case it is not a proxy for good management – it is good management, it is essential management.

Report by Nadine Exter, Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility and Charlotte Turner, Business in the Community.

Understanding organisational context is critical for engaging employees in creating a responsible business

Each organisation is unique in culture and infrastructure, and to engage employees in corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability, it is crucial to understand this, according to a new “How To” Guide from the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield School of Management.

The Guide, Engaging Employees in Corporate Responsibility, emphasises that employees are a critical success factor in helping organisations to be sustainable, and therefore companies need to build and maintain their employees’ “sense of inspiration and passion for being part of a responsible and sustainable organisation”.

Says Nadine Exter, author of the guide:

According to companies interviewed for this guide, employee engagement with CR is the single biggest enabler for successful delivery of a CR strategy. Engagement has also been identified as an important element of the business case for responsible behaviour in a related report by the Doughty Centre and Business in the Community.

The Guide provides step-by-step tactics for engaging employees with your sustainability strategy, starting with identifying what you want to achieve and then understanding your specific context for engagement in order to develop and implement customised engagement tactics .

In association with Futerra Sustainability Communications and Camelot Plc.

Re-thinking the Big Society presents challenges and opportunities for managers

A closer look at the Big Society unearths new challenges and opportunities for managers of private businesses, government and social enterprises, according to a new Occasional Paper by Prof. David Grayson, Director of the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility and David Harrison, Cranfield MBA and a former senior civil servant at the Department of Health.

The paper, Salvaging the Big Society: A Ten Point Plan, focuses on the deeper implications beneath the current government initiative. Grayson and Harrison identify both up- and downsides of the Big Society, focusing specifically on devolution of power from central Government, broadening the range of public service providers and promotion of more active citizenship.

In their proposed ten-point change management programme, the authors cite emerging opportunities for managers of businesses and social enterprises to take on delivery of public services as well as to share with the voluntary sector long-developed business expertise on mergers and acquisitions. They call on business leaders to provide “much-needed horsepower” to the Big Society through mentoring and coaching social enterprises and mutuals in transition; pro bono strategic support for communities which leverage business expertise; supply chain partnering; sharing corporate support service platforms with new social entrepreneurs and enterprises; and providing more innovative sources of finance. Given the complexities and rapid pace of change, media organisations are urged specifically to take more responsibility for educating and informing, rather than simply entertaining, the public.

Posted by
Jennifer Todd
Secretariat




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